Academic Focus: Virginia Commonwealth University

by | Jan 30, 2012 | Academic Focus, Inside the Box Innovation, The Economist | 0 comments

For universities wanting a more collaborative and coordinated approach to innovation, here is an example worth benchmarking.

Virginia Commonwealth University is offering the first of its kind graduate program in product innovation.  The Master of Product Innovation program is a blend of innovation, business, design, and technology courses. “We are very excited to offer this unique program,” says Dr. Kenneth Kahn who leads the initiative.  “Students enrolling in this program will receive a very enthralling educational experience that when completed will provide graduates with clearer purpose and ability to deliver on product innovation.”

The masters program is part of VCU’s da Vinci Center.  The center is a collaboration of VCU’s School of the Arts, Business and Engineering.  Its objectives are: (1) prepare students to enter a product innovation career; (2) catalyze innovation through collaboration among the disciplines of the Arts, Business, and Engineering; and (3) serve as a resource for advancing interdisciplinary innovation and technology-based entrepreneurship.

The Master of Product Innovation program develops students so they can make an immediate impact on an organization.  During their training, students tackle a comprehensive project for a corporate sponsor so they learn how to plan and launch product innovation initiatives.

The full time curriculum spans four semesters.

First Semester (12 hours)

  • INNO 501: Arts Principles for Product Innovation
  • INNO 502: Business Principles for Product Innovation
  • INNO 503: Technology Principles for Product Innovation
  • INNO 600: Integrative Design Studio

Second Semester (9 hours)

  • INNO 590: da Vinci Project Course
  • Two Technical Electives

Third Semester (6 hours of Master Project + 3 hours optional)

  • INNO 651: Masters Project in Product Innovation I
  • Optional Elective

Fourth Semester (6 hours of Master Project + 3 hours optional)

  • INNO 652: Master Project in Product Innovation II
  • Optional Election

Dr. Kahn is a nationally recognized scholar and consultant in the field of product development.  Kahn previously was at Purdue University, where he was a professor and director of Purdue’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Kahn authored the books, “Product Planning: Essentials” and “New Product Forecasting: An Applied Approach.”